Many years ago I used to run graduate recruitment for an ad agency. As a warm up exercise on recruitment day, I asked each of the participants to write on the flipchart the name of the last newspaper or magazine they bought, and why they bought it.
One by one, up they got.
“Cosmo – for the problem page”
“Vogue – for the fashion advice”
“The Guardian – for the match report”
And so on.
There were 10 candidates in all, each of them vying to get a job at a London ad agency. Yet none of them claimed to have bought a publication with the intent of seeing who was advertising in it.
And why should they? None of us do – not even those of us who work(ed) in the industry.
Nor does anyone turn the TV or radio on in the hope of finding out who’s advertising. Nor do they open their web browser in the hope of seeing who will try and sell to them.
Yet still a handful of marketers obsess about making their logo bigger in an ad.
If making the logo bigger made folk more likely to read an ad, then agencies wouldn’t just make the logo bigger, they’d make it biggest.
Fact is, if we want folk to notice our ads it’s far more likely to be because of what we are selling than who is doing the selling.
Any visual ad – be it print or digital – only has a limited space for communication. The larger the space given over to who is advertising means the less space can be given over to what is being advertised (and more to the point, why you should buy it).
The way all great ads work in the customer’s mind is “That’s a great idea – who’s it from? Right – I’ll buy one today”.
Paradoxically, this means that the more space the logo takes up in the ad, the less likely the ad – and therefore the logo – will be noticed in the first place.